Having a big man that can score effectively down low is major asset. May sound like I'm stating the obvious but I see a lot of teams that have a dominant low post player and don't effectively use that player.

One of the most important aspects of low post player is gaining inside position. As a coach, you need to find ways to get the ball to your player on the move. Unless you have a guy like Shaq can get the ball and just back you down and dunk over top, more likely than not you'll have to use a screen and seal, or a screen and slip to get your big man the ball in a position to score.

I caught the end of the game between Ole Miss and Florida today. It was clear to me that Ole Miss was determined to use it's size down low and Dwayne Curtis was the big man to do it. He would finish with 20 points and 12 rebounds. I took a couple of clips late in the game to show just how Curtis was able to get good position and score down low,

On defense, we try to never allow the middle-post entry pass. As we feel that the middle-post entry pass breaks us down. It allows a post player to get the ball in a position to pivot either way and score. From the wing, at least you can force middle into the help.

Use the Middle Post-entry:

This is not even really a play. As I believe the Rebels are just playing basketball here.

The play is setup by a flex downscreen. O5 starts from the elbow while O3 starts at the low block. O5 goes down to set a flex screen with O3 coming out to receive the pass.

The pass goes to O3 up top and O5, Curtis gets the ball right in the middle of lane about 4 feet from the basket. It's just a pivot, square and off the glass from there. Curtis is fouled to boot and converts the and1.


Big men that can move well and score with both their back to the basket and in front of the basket are so rare. That is why when you get a player like that, you have to maximize their potential. Middle-post entry, screen and slip, hi-low, these are all great strategies to be employed with a good big man. I also like post-ups on early offense, much like what UNC does with Tyler Hansbrough.

For more video info, take a look at the Better Basketball's Better Post Play DVD. You may also want to look at Jason Shay's DVD on 18 All-purpose post moves. Coach Shay is an assistant at Tennessee. To discuss this and many more of your favorite basketball topics, head over to the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to talk with other coaches from around the world.